Low-cost Airlines

Till a few months ago, almost all my domestic travel would only be on Jet, Kingfisher and Air India/Indian Airlines (the full-service airlines). In the past couple months, I have taken many flights on the low-cost carriers (LCCs) — Indigo, Go, Spice and Kingfisher Red (erstwhile Deccan). And I have to say that the LCCs are nearly as good. One does occasionally miss the tele-checkin facility and the Jain meal on board, but that is more than made up by the cost savings. On-time arrival performance of the LCCs has also been reasonably good.

Overall, the quality of air travel in India has improved quite a bit after touching a trough in 2008 with all kinds of delays at airports. Landing in Mumbai now even during peak hours doesn’t mean much of hovering now. So, all in all, the air travel experience is now much more consumer-friendly.

6 thoughts on “Low-cost Airlines

  1. I’ll honestly second your thoughts; low cost comes really handy at times but gets horrible as well. If I compare my recent experiences I had only one bad delay out of all the flights (mainly to n fro from b’lore to delhi) which I have specified long back in the same forum (http://emergic.org/2009/04/03/how-does-a-6-am-flight-take-off-45-minutes-late/#more-10713) the rest were manageable 😉

    What concerns me more is the helplessness of the cabin crew for these low cost airlines, though the pilots are from foreign soil there’s little they can do to comfort the customer(s) esp. in terms of delays. The crew on the other hand is very clearly instructed to say ‘NO’ for most of customer’s demands (like an extra bottle of water) and if customers crib, let them crib – that’s what makes the crew a better experienced professional. Obviously the customer will not jump out of the plane in hunt of water in d middle of flight. I’m not sure but I’m guessing that they get bonus points/ better ratings in their performance reviews based on the no. of bottles saved per flight 😉

    On the other hand I really feel that its time to change the crew at the government owned airlines. There is just one time I traveled via AI flight and the two ladies on the deck were almost double of my age, for once I felt very homely on the plane getting served by a ‘Mother’ like person  but on the other side It was a horrible experience as they were full of attitude. There was no politeness at all and was more of a telling than asking ‘You want juice’ answer only with a ‘Yes or No’ for a minute I thought did someone forcibly told them to serve on this flight? (That’s when I swore AI never again)
    I’m sure govt. can do a lot to make changes so that even we feel welcomed on the govt. planes again but they are least bothered and private airlines is the answer good enough for our money.

  2. I was surprised about Indigo. They have a great baggage handling service and I found their flights pretty comfortable.

  3. Pingback: Global Voices Online » India: Low Cost Airlines Performing Well

  4. Indian Airlines – the inflight service is ok but not superlative. I had the opportunity to travel with a cancer patient and should comment on the trouble the crew members took to make her comfortable. They were courteous.

    The flights donot hover much and this is convenient esp if it is late eveining. Food is good but it is bad eating in a railway style food packets. Most of all, the travel is smooth.

    In full service airlines – Kingfisher is way ahead…. But they are expensive.

    The others – the less said the better. The flights are jerky. They hover for atleast 20 min before landing. Most of all, you have to pay for basics like Water. Some cost savings !!!. For that cost, take the Indian Airlines or Air India express.